How POP and IMAP work
What is POP and IMAP ?
POP and IMAP is what allows you to download messages from web-mail’s servers onto your computer so you can access your mail with a program like Microsoft Outlook or Thunderbird, even when you aren’t connected to the Internet.
So why would someone use POP?
While it is not recommended for most heavy email users or users that email over a variety of devices, it is sometimes the ONLY option an email provider offers. However, one may choose to use POP over IMAP if he wants an original copy of every incoming message he gets on every device he owns (note that depending on device settings and server settings this can sometimes not be achieved).
Why should someone using POP convert to IMAP?
Someone who uses multiple devices to check, respond to and send emails would benefit greatly from IMAP due to its cross-device access. No matter what device you are on you can see your email in the same way. You can still have computer-based folders for emails that don’t need to sync across all devices if storage is an issue.
What is the difference between POP and IMAP ?
If you’re trying to decide between using POP and IMAP, we encourage you to use IMAP.
Unlike POP, IMAP offers two-way communication between your web-mail and your email client. This means when you log in to web-mail using a web browser, actions you perform on email clients and mobile devices (ex: putting mail in a ‘work’ folder) will instantly and automatically appear in web-mail (ex: it will already have a ‘work’ label on that email the next time you sign in).
IMAP also provides a better method to access your mail from multiple devices. If you check your email at work, on your mobile phone, and again at home, IMAP ensures that new mail is accessible from any device at any given time.
Finally, IMAP offers a more stable experience overall. Whereas POP is prone to losing messages or downloading the same messages multiple times, IMAP avoids this through two-way syncing capabilities between your mail clients and your web-mail.